Disclaimer: There’s a tiny bit of female-talk in here… fertility cycles, periods, and what not. It’s not the point, but it’s mentioned. If those words in this disclaimer bother you, you should probably skip this post.
I recently shared about our August miscarriage. But I didn’t share that the month before, we had a false positive, or something like that. I wrote this post right after this happened, but decided not to share it.
Then, a month later, we miscarried and I ended up sharing candidly about that experience. For some reason, it seems right to share this now. This content is unedited from my original draft back in June.
On a Monday in June, it occurred to me that I was probably late on my period. We had been trying & hoping to get pregnant for a few months. For the first couple months, I diligently tracked everything in an app. But all the tracking made all the waiting seem so much longer, so I stopped tracking. This particular Monday though, I was pretty sure I was late because I happened to remember the exact date of my previous period. Once I started thinking about it, I became more and more sure I was pregnant. Those darn psycho-somatic pregnancy symptoms that are all the same as PMS symptoms… Quick cramping a week prior (implantation cramping perhaps), some nausea and fatigue.
When Ben got home from work, we talked about it a little, and agreed I would take a test the next morning. I always want to take one 5 days early (haha) and he usually airs on the side of just waiting till I’m late. But Tuesday would make me a couple days late, so it was a compromise.
I took one Tuesday morning.
A very faint positive, but that second pink line was there.
Every time I’ve seen that second pink line, the next 9 months and 20 years flash through my mind in about 60 seconds. Does that make me crazy? Probably. S/he would be born end of February, beginning of March. Would it be a boy or girl? What would the sibling dynamics be like in each scenario? Addie would have just turned 3, and Emma would be 1 1/2 when our third baby arrived. Would we use our ‘boy’ name we haven’t used yet if it was a boy? Would we find out the gender again? How would we keep the name a secret with 2 babbling toddlers running around? I imagined the dynamics of having 3 kids 3 and under… would we ever be able to leave the house?
Slight panicky-excitement, but so much joy.
It had taken a few months with Addie, and Emma was our sweet surprise baby, and now here it had been a few months – such a reminder that we’re not in control, but worth the wait. Because this baby (who would be due right around March 1, or maybe born on a leap year) was the one for us.
We felt so thankful.
I often get up and drink coffee with Ben before he leaves – he leaves EARLY. This Monday, we prayed over baby #3 and thanked God. The line was so faint, we decided I’d take another one the next day just to make sure.
Tuesday morning, test #2. Still faint, but still there. Ben came home from work Tuesday night saying he wanted to be surprised about the gender. I was shocked! I’ve wanted to be surprised the first 2 times and he hasn’t; ultimately neither of us could stand to wait, and both times we found out at the 20 week ultrasound. He made a pretty good case for a surprise the third time though. We left it open for discussion.
I made last minute plans to meet up with some friends Wednesday night. We were doing this free-yoga + wine thing, so I knew they’d figure it out when I didn’t drink wine.
I told them they’d have to finish my wine. They smiled and said they’d wondered if that’d be the case, knowing we were ready for a third. It was fun to talk about. They have littles too.
Thursday morning, I got what seemed like a period. Weird. A quick google search told me some people bleed during early pregnancy and still carry to-term, and that bleeding doesn’t always indicate a problem. I went back and forth all morning, and finally decided to call and talk to the nurse at my OB’s office. They decided I should wait it out a week, see if it stops or continues as a normal period. She said “probably it was a false positive, but if you’re still pregnant in a week, give us a call.”
So matter of fact.
But it wasn’t matter of fact to me.
The rest of the day carried on somewhere in between a light and normal period. I started to try to be ‘realistic’ & change my thinking that I wasn’t pregnant after all. But, because it wasn’t quite normal, and it was 4 days late, and I had taken 2 positive pregnancy tests, I still held on to a tiny bit of hope that maybe it was a weird fluke and this was still baby number 3.
It wasn’t. Friday morning, I was bleeding & feeling pms-y.
Negative pregnancy test.
Not pregnant after all.
The first thing I felt was a mix of disappointment, sadness, and confusion. What had happened? Was I never pregnant in the first place?
The second feeling was embarrassment, which really caught me by surprise.
It reminded me of a time I thought I had a great interview and then didn’t get the job.
That time I pitched what I thought was a great idea and everyone just stared silently.
I never really understood why people didn’t talk about pregnancy issues or miscarriage very often. And I wonder if other people feel a sense of embarrassment too.
I don’t think this was a miscarriage. The nurse was probably right. A false positive, perhaps? Google said something about a chemical pregnancy? Only the Lord knows really. I’m referencing miscarriage, but I recognize that this 2 day long chemical pregnancy or false positive or whatever isn’t a miscarriage. It wasn’t as sad as I imagine a miscarriage to be… I hadn’t been pregnant for weeks. I hadn’t felt very pregnant. I hadn’t told a bunch of people. We have friends and acquaintances who have walked through infertility, many multiple miscarriages, still born children, infant death – the types of grief and tragedy that all of us pray to Jesus we will never experience. I am not even remotely inferring we know an ounce of the pain some people have experienced in this area. Not at all.
But our mini chemical-pregnancy-or-false-positive made me wonder if there’s embarrassment surrounding any pregnancy or infertility issues. I guess I don’t know.
I assume I was probably never pregnant in the first place, but I was still disappointed… and embarrassed.
I felt embarrassed that I had already imagined this baby #3. The one due March 1st. Or maybe on a leap year.
I was embarrassed I had already figured out how old our other kids would be and had thought about how we might announce it.
I was embarrassed thinking – would we tell people this happened, or not? [I guess we decided we’d tell people…]
Why did I feel embarrassed? Do other people feel embarrassed when they miscarry? Is this why people don’t talk about it? I don’t really know the answers to those questions, but this isn’t a post for having all the answers. I suppose this is a post to acknowledge the feelings. To put it out there so that maybe someone else who experienced something similar could read and relate and say – yeah, me too.
To talk about it so it’s not this taboo thing.
To verbally process without having to bring it up in conversation – oh hey, I just had a false positive last week and I’m kind of disappointed and embarrassed.
I’m pretty tell-it-like-it-is face to face, but I also like to hide behind my writing.
Certainly someone else has tested positive then negative, be it a false positive or a very early miscarriage. The disappointment was, well, disappointing. I think I’ll wait till I’m 2 weeks late to take a test next time.
Have you been there? Did you have feelings? If so, you can discuss or share in the comments below. Or not.
Like I said, that was unedited post I wrote after the false-positive in June but before I experienced our first miscarriage, which happened on the very next cycle after this one.
After experiencing 2 months of the unexpected, I don’t have much clarity on the whys or hows, nor do I have the perfect words to remedy the loss or describe all the feelings. But I do have clarity on this: our world is imperfect. There is sickness and death and disease and evil everywhere – no one is exempt. Like the fallout of a nuclear bomb, people on this earth experience death and sadness to varying degrees as a fallout of sin. Not a cause and effect relationship “you did this so you get that.” No. Just fallout effect. There is darkness and sin in this world and until Jesus comes back and creates a new heaven and a new earth, pain and sadness is part of our reality.
And so we wait.
We wait for Jesus to come back, to wipe away all the tears, and make all things new.
We wait in peace with content spirits because He lives in us and has made us new, but we simultaneously long for the other side of heaven because our reality is a broken world, hence the nagging sense that we don’t quite belong here.
So, in the meantime, in the waiting, we join hands and spirits and pray for a fresh renewal of God’s spirit in our world, a deep healing of broken hearts and bodies. And we praise Him – the giver of life.